Week 4

A little late in posting this. Still reeling from the events in the States. Not thought about much else, really.

Culture

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I had pre-booked to see the Picasso portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, not cheap, (and a disgrace that the guide was not illustrated and there was no photography allowed, so as to force visitors to buy the catalogue, also not cheap), so I forced myself out on a day of high air pollution to go and see it.

It was quite a small exhibition, and sadly, it was quite uninspiring, with only a very few paintings that gave me the gut feeling I get when I see art I like.

I did buy this print for my living room:

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And I bought a navy blue “Picasso” beret because I needed a blue hat and why not?

Books

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Just crime this week. I didn’t really enjoy “Extraordinary People”. It was a bit too Da Vinci Code-ish, and there were too many protagonists. It felt a bit like a Scooby-Doo adventure. Not recommended.

The “Ruby Elephants”  was a straightforward Sherlock Holmes romp that could have been written by Doyle himself. It was fine, but felt old-fashioned, which was a little disappointing. I’d hoped for something a little closer to Robert-Downey Junior Holmes, but got Jeremy Brett Holmes (not my favourite).

“The Hanging” was Scandi Noir at its Noirest. Very bleak, very convoluted, and right up my street. There was the usual flawed cop trope, and the subject matter was as unpleasant as it can be (no spoilers here). I will read more by the Hammers.

 

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Week 3

Culture

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I didn’t manage to see this live in the theatre, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I was able to see a matinee performance “as live” at the cinema. It was wonderful. These two actors are still at the very top of their game, and they are perfect foils for each other. A brilliant way to spend a winter afternoon.

Books

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Only the one this week. I have been meaning to read this for a while now, and I really wanted to love it. Sadly, it doesn’t match up to “Mockingbird”, and I found the ending unsatisfactory. No spoilers here. Make your own judgement.

The world 

Still reeling from Donald Trump’s inauguration. The Women’s March topped off the week, and this was my favourite image, making this week’s blog a Knight sandwich. It is such a joyful picture. And I really want his scarf.

(Note: this is not my picture. I admit to finding it on the web and I will remove it from here if the owner objects).

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Week 2

Culture

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This week’s culture is of the armchair variety. I came across an interesting item (probably via twitter, although I can’t swear to it). Apparently, the only Soviet animation that was banned was the “Glass Harmonica”, which was itself sort-of about censorship. I watched the video, and some others, via the Open Culture website. Catch it yourself here:

http://www.openculture.com/2016/09/watch-the-surrealist-glass-harmonica-the-only-animated-film-ever-banned-by-soviet-censors-1968.html

Pop Culture

I succumbed to the sales, and bought myself a pair of cherry-red Doc Martins (an iconic colour and an iconic brand). I was also drawn (heh) to a Crayola collaboration with a cosmetic brand – set of chubby lip crayons that would sit happily in any geek girl’s satchel.

To round off the week, I watched what I think is likely to be the last ever episode of BBC “Sherlock”, a programme that has spawned such a huge and varied fandom that it deserves to be on my list of pop culture icons.

Books

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I did a fair bit of reading this week, but most of it was mediocre stuff. One stand-out was “Yellow Blue Tibia”, a strange Sci-Fi tale with a lot of humour, a clever play on pronunciation, but sadly, some aliens. It was particularly interesting for its take on Chernobyl, which was itself featured in a documentary on TV this week. I always like coincidences.

Food

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This overlaps with books this week. I finally finished reading the Venice cookbook, and was happily reminded how much I like Guido Brunetti. And I found the best paella recipe in the “Pig” book. And yes, it has chorizo in it.

 

Week 1

This blog will be a record of my “cultural” life, week by week.

 

Museums

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This week I went to the Horniman Museum and aquarium.

The aquarium was small, and the main exhibit was closed, but there was still a fair amount to see, including a native pondlife tank, which was nice to see. A good place to take the small boys of the family.

The only other thing I was interested in was the music gallery, which felt overheated, but that was probably because I had my winter coat on.  The sheer number of musical instruments on show was a little overwhelming, given the very small space in the gallery.

Books

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Three books I have enjoyed this week:

Europe in winter; a clever, alternate history with a bit of sci-fi. And no aliens or space-ships in sight. I thought this was the last in the Fractured Europe series, but the author says there will be one more.

The dying detective; my favourite genre, crime. A detective who is actually dying fights his own body to solve a cold case. Very well written, and a good translation.

A room of one’s own; I should have read this a long time ago, I know. It is still well worth reading.